Call for papers CAA2015 in Siena

caaThe call for papers for the 2015 edition of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference is now open. There are some great sessions and workshops planned, check out the program here.

I want to draw your attention to a number of sessions and workshops I’m involved in or that are of interest if you bothered reading this blog post until here 🙂 I want to invite everyone to consider submitting a paper or attending these! Full abstracts below.

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

ABSTRACTS

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Formal network techniques are becoming an increasingly common addition to the archaeologist’s methodological toolbox. Archaeologists have adopted these techniques mainly from the fields of social network analysis, physics and mathematics, where they have been developed and applied for decades. However, network science techniques for the analysis or visualisation of geographical and long-term temporal phenomena have seen far less development than those for social and technological phenomena. Conversely, archaeology has a long tradition of studying long-term change of socio-cultural systems and spatial phenomena, a research focus and tradition that is a direct consequence of the nature of archaeological data and our ambition to use it as proxy evidence for past human behaviour. We believe this spatial and temporal research focus so common in archaeology could inspire the development of innovative spatial and temporal network science techniques.

This session welcomes archaeological applications of formal network science techniques. It particularly encourages elaboration on the geographical and temporal aspects of applications. What are the implications of working on large time-scales for the use of network science techniques and the interpretation of their outputs? How can the study of long-term change of social systems inspire the development of innovative network science techniques? What advantages do geographical network approaches offer over other spatial analysis techniques in archaeology? How can the long tradition of studying spatial phenomena in archaeology inspire the development of innovative network science techniques?

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Archaeology has largely moved forward from the simplistic ‘dots-on-the-map’ and ‘arrows-on-the-map’ approaches when it comes to studying large-scale human movements. Current models regarding spatio-temporal distribution and migration of humans often highlight the complex nature of such phenomena and the limitations that any particular data type impose on the reconstruction, be it environmental (paleoclimate, paleotopography, paleofauna and -flora), archaeological (site distribution, patterns in material culture) and other types of data (genetics, isotopes etc). Similarly the, often very coarse, resolution of the data coupled with the difficulty of integrating different types of information within one framework make the task of researching large-scale human dispersal challenging. Nevertheless, a number of recent applications employing different computational techniques show that this can be achieved. From the data acquisition, cataloguing and storing, to spatial analysis and identifying patterns and distributions in the data to building abstract and semi-realistic simulations of the processes behind the dispersals, computational techniques can aid the process of investigating human movement on various scales and allow researchers to tackle the underlying complexity of the studied systems moving the debate beyond simple intuitive models.

This session aims to summarise the recent progress in the topic, discuss major challenges and provide a base for establishing further directions of research. We invite contributions from researchers studying human movements on the meso- and macro-scale and employing any of the wide variety of techniques and theoretical frameworks within the following three themes:

DATA: spatio-temporal data acquisition and integration (for example, data types, quantifying uncertainty and biases of the data, large-scale databases, cross-platform integration);

PATTERN: spatio-temporal analysis and modelling (statistical modelling, GIS, C14 among others);

PROCESS: modelling of processes and mechanisms underpinning dispersal through simulation (agent-based and equation-based modelling, cellular automata, system-dynamics modelling, (social) network theory) and other techniques.

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Network science techniques offer archaeologists the ability to manage, visualise, and analyse network data. Within different archaeological research contexts, network data can be used to represent hypothesised past social networks, geographically embedded networks like roads and rivers, the similarity of site assemblages, and much more.

A large number of software programs is available to work with network data. Visone is one of them and offers a number of advantages:
• Free to use for research purposes
• A user-friendly interactive graphical user interface
• Innovative network visualisations
• Exporting publication-quality raster and vector files
• The incorporation of statistical modelling techniques

This workshop introduces the basics of network data management, visualisation and analysis with Visone through practical examples using archaeological research questions and datasets. The workshop is aimed at archaeologists with no required previous experience with network science.

Participants should bring a laptop with Visone installed (download Visone: http://visone.info/ )

Maximum 20 participants.

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Following on the success of the simulation workshops at CAA2012 in Perth and CAA2013 in Paris, we would like to continue the beginner course in NetLogo – an open-source platform for building agent-based models. NetLogo’s user-friendly interface, simple coding language and a vast library of model examples makes it an ideal starting point for entry-level modellers, as well as a useful prototyping tool for more experienced programmers. The first part of the workshop will be devoted to demonstrating the basics of modelling with NetLogo through a set of worked examples. This should give each participant enough skills and confidence to tackle the second exercise: building an archaeologically-inspired simulation in a small group. Finally, the last two hours will consist of a ‘drop-in’ clinic for anyone who would like to discuss their ideas for a simulation, needs help developing a model, or would like direction to further resources for modellers.

No prior knowledge of coding is required but we will ask the participants to bring their own laptop and install NetLogo beforehand: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

In the last few years approaches commonly classified as computational modelling (agent-based and equation-based modelling, and other types of simulation etc.) are becoming increasingly common and popular among the archaeological computing community. Almost all research activity could be termed ‘modelling’ in some sense, for example, in archaeology we create conceptual models (hypotheses, typologies), spatial models (GIS), virtual models (3D reconstructions) or statistical models to name but a few. Most of them, however, investigate either the elements of the system (individual pots, skeletons, buildings etc.) or the pattern produced by the system elements (cultural similarities, settlement distribution, urban development etc.) and only theorize about the possible processes that led from the aggregated actions of individual actors to population-level patterns. In contrast, simulation allows us to approach such processes in a formal way and tackle some of the past complexities. It helps us to create ‘virtual labs’ in which we can test and contrast different hypotheses, find irregularities in the data or identify new factors which we would not suspect of having a significant impact on the system. In short, complexity science techniques have great potential for diverse applications in archaeology and may become a driving force for formalisation of descriptive models for the whole discipline.

The aim of this roundtable is to discuss the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation, including but not restricted to:
the epistemology of computational modelling (what it can and cannot do);
data integration and its use for model validation;
system formalisation and the role of domain specialists;
replicability and reuse of code;
lessons learnt from other disciplines commonly using simulation (ecology, social science, economics etc.)
communication between modellers and the wider archaeological public;
further directions of research.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to propose the creation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) under the auspices of CAA (named: ‘CAA Complex Systems Simulation SIG’), and to discuss a preliminary plan of the proposed activities of the SIG and an outline of how the SIG is to be organised.

KEEP THE REVOLUTION GOING! CAA 2015 call for sessions

caa2015The CAA is my favourite community of archaeologists, and I am super proud to be the CAA international secretary since April 2014. Next year’s meeting will be in Siena, Italy. And apparently we are a community of revolutionaries! This year’s theme is “KEEP THE REVOLUTION GOING”, and I couldn’t agree more. Computational techniques have revolutionised academia, and the CAA has played a pioneering role in this computational revolution for archaeology since 1973. But there is more work to be done. Computational and quantitative work in archaeology should not be a minority pursuit, they should not be considered simplistic or reductionist, all archaeologists use these techniques to some extent. The CAA community will continue to take a leading role in teaching archaeologists good practice in these techniques. So, KEEP THE REVOLUTION GOING, submit your session proposal to CAA 2015.

Where? University of Siena
When? March 30, 2015 – April 2, 2015
Submission deadline? 30 September 2014
Submission URL
More info

The 43rd Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology “KEEP THE REVOLUTION GOING” Conference (CAA 2015 SIENA) will explore a multitude of topics to showcase ground-breaking technologies and best practice from various archaeological and computer sciences disciplines, with a large diversity of case studies from all over the world. Some of these topics are specific to the Italian scientific community, which played since the early stage of computer applicationa central role, participating to the debate and development in particular of GIS, databases, semantic, remote sensing, 3D data collection, modeling, visualization, etc.

The conference will be held in Italy at the University of Siena in collaboration with the National Research Council, from March 30th to April 3rd 2015.

The conference usually brings together hundreds of participants coming from all over the world involving delegates in parallel sessions, workshops, tutorials and roundtables. For general information please email: info@caa2015.org

CFP CAA Germany-Netherlands-Flanders

caa deGermanic tribes with computational literacy unite! The Computer Applications and quantitative techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference has a large number of national chapters. Some of these have now teamed up for a Germanic CAA: CAA Germany-Netherlands-Flanders, University of Cologne, October 3rd – 4th, 2014. The call for paper is open until 31 May 2014. Let’s make sure networks are represented! More info on the website and below.

The CAA chapters of Germany and Netherlands/Flanders, in conjunction with the University of Cologne, are happy to announce their upcoming biannual CAA Joint Chapter Meeting, to be held on October 3rd – 4th, 2014 in Cologne, Germany.

This conference will be the third in a row after two successful conferences in Münster (2010) and Groningen (2012). Like in previous years, participation is not limited to members of both CAA chapters but open to all interested colleagues. Students are especially welcome to attend.

(Here you will find a poster to announce the conference in your institute or organisation)

Topics:

This year´s conference will deal with two different topics:

(1) Teaching digital archaeology – digitally teaching archaeology

While digital technologies have profoundly changed the practice of archaeological research in recent years, archaeological teaching targeted at students, professionals, interested laypersons etc. has usually been less affected by these changes than by educational concerns (e.g., Bologna reform, interactive and inclusive teaching, etc.). So the question remains: What are the challenges and requirements of teaching archaeology in the digital age in terms of both content and style? To which degree can, have, or should digital technologies become the subject and/or the means of archaeological teaching to different audiences? This session invites contributions on the current practice of archaeological teaching in the digital age.

(2) Identifying patterns, calculating similarities

Detecting patterns in archaeological data is one of the main aims of computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology. Many of these methods are based on similarity calculations, either comparing all objects with each other or searching for objects similar to a model pattern. For example, archaeologists apply pattern recognition to detect archaeological features in satellite images, aerial photographs, and LiDAR data. Another example is predictive modelling whose aim it is to identify patterns in the archaeological record, i.e. to delimit areas with high probability of past human activity. Moreover, archaeological typology is often derived from calculating similarities of objects recorded in 2D or 3D scans. Wiggle matching and tree-ring pattern matching are other applications of this set of methods. This session will explore the state of the art of these methods, and showcase new technologies and best practice in applying these approaches to archaeological data.

Call for Papers:

Submissions are welcome on either of the two topics mentioned above.

Please send an abstract (in English, 300 to 500 words, no figures, no references, file format: doc, odf, rtf or txt – no pdf) to workshop@ag-caa.de. In your email, clearly state your name, affiliation and contact details.

All submitted abstracts will be reviewed. The review committee, composed of members of both CAA chapters, will either accept abstracts as submitted, request revision before acceptance, or reject submissions.

The standard format will be oral presentation. In case of a higher than expected number of accepted submissions, the review committee will propose a poster format for selected presentations.

Important Dates:

Submission of abstracts: May 31st, 2014
Notification of authors, programme announced: June 30th, 2014
Early bird registration ends: August 15th, 2014
Conference: October 3rd – 4th, 2014
Preliminary Programme:

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
13:00h Welcome
13:00h – 18:00h Presentations, coffee break
18:00h – 21:00h Reception and snacks at conference venue
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
9:00h – 12:00h Presentations, coffee break
12:00h – 13:00h Lunch break at conference venue
13:00h – 18:30h Presentations, coffee break
Note that October 3rd is a national holiday in Germany, so shops will be closed and public transport will be on a reduced schedule like on Sundays.

Conference Venue:

University of Cologne, main campus, WISO building, Universitätsstr. 24, 50931 Köln. The conference venue is easily accessible by public transport, see Travel Information & Maps.

Conference Fees:

The conference fees include coffee, tea and beverages during breaks, drinks and snacks on Friday evening and a light lunch on Saturday.

Early Bird (up to August 15th, 2014) Regular (from August 16th, 2014)
Student or Unemployed 15 € 25 €
All Others 25 € 35 €
Registration:

To register, please:

Send an email to caacologne@gmail.com in which you clearly state your name, affiliation, contact details and status (student / unemployed or other).
Transfer the conference fees (see above) to the bank account of CAA Germany:
Account holder: Computeranwendungen und Quantitative Methoden in der Archäologie e.V.
Bank: Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg, Bonn, Germany
IBAN: DE53 3806 0186 1001 8780 14
BIC: GENODED1BRS
Reason for transfer: Cologne 2014
You will receive a confirmation of your registration once your conference fees have been received.

All speakers are kindly requested to register this way as well.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Cologne!

Conference Organizers

Karsten Lambers, Matthias Lang, Irmela Herzog (CAA Germany)

Philip Verhagen, Jitte Waagen, Erwin Meylemans (CAA Netherlands/Flanders)

Thomas Frank, Nadia Balkowski (University of Cologne)

Few tickets still available Connected Past Paris

TCPThe free tickets to attend The Connected Past conference in Paris on 26 April are going fast but a few of them are still available. So if you would like to attend this event then grab your ticket soon via the registration page.

The Connected Past 2014 Paris is a free one-day satellite conference to CAA 2014 that brings together historians and archaeologists to discuss common themes in network analysis. The full programme with abstracts can be found on the conference website. More info and a short programme are included below.

Hope to see many of you there!

Tom, Claire, and The Connected past steering committee
http://connectedpast.soton.ac.uk/

The Connected Past
A satellite conference at CAA 2014, Paris

Held Saturday April 26th 2014 in Sciences Po, rooms Albert Sorel and Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris (metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Rue du Bac). Building A on this map.

With the Support of Sciences Po, the DYREM research program, Médialab, the CAA committee, and the French network of historical network analysis.

Organisers: Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris), Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton), The Connected Past steering committee.

The conference will be held immediately after the CAA conference (Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology), also happening in Paris, allowing participants to easily attend both – but participants from other disciplines, especially history, are also most welcome.

The conference aims to:

  • Provide a forum for the presentation of network-based research applied to archaeological or historical questions
  • Discuss the practicalities and implications of applying network perspectives and methodologies to archaeological and historical data in particular
  • Strengthen the group of researchers interested in the potential of network approaches for archaeology and history
  • Foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaborative work towards integrated analytical frameworks for understanding complex networks
  • Stimulate debate about the application of network theory and analysis within archaeology and history in particular, but also more widely, and highlight the relevance of this work for the continued development of network theory in other disciplines

There are no attendance fees. Although this event is free of charge, registration is required and the number of places is limited. Registration to the event will open once the final programme is advertised in late November, and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

A “The Connected Past” practical workshop, “Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists” will also be organized during CAA2014 in Paris (see the CAA programme).

All the presentations and posters have been confirmed, but the exact programme is still subject to minor changes

Saturday 26 April

9-9.45 Welcome coffee and introduction

9.45-11 First session: Mobility through networks
Eivind Heldaas Seland: Tracing trade routes as networks: From Palmyra to the Persian Gulf in the first three centuries CE
Henrik Gerding and Per Östborn: Network analyses of the diffusion of Hellenistic fired bricks
Marie Lezowski: Cohesion through mobility : the networks of relics in 17th-century Lombardy

11-11.15 Coffee break

11.15-12.30 Second session: Dynamics and cross-period comparisons
Habiba, Jan C. Athenstädt and Ulrik Brandes: Inferring Social Dynamics from Spatio-Temporal Network Data in the US Southwest
Ana Sofia Ribeiro: Resilience in times of Early Modern financial crises: the case study of Simon Ruiz network, 1553-1606
Marion Beetschen: Scientists in Swiss Committees of Experts (1910-2010): Power and Academic Disciplines Through Networks

12.30-13.45 Lunch break

13.45-15 Third session: Cross-cultural networks
Angus A. A. Mol and Floris W. M. Keehnen: Tying up Columbus: A historical and material culture study of the networks that resulted from the first European voyages into the Caribbean (AD 1492-1504)
Francisco Apellaniz: Cooperating in Complex Environments: Cross-cultural Trade, Commercial Networks and Notarial Culture in Alexandria (Egypt) : 1350-1500
Florencia Del Castillo and Joan Anton Barceló: Inferring the intensity of Social Network from radiocarbon dated Bronze Age archaeological contexts

15-15.15 Coffee break

15-15.50 Fourth session: Political interactions
Stanley Théry: Social network analysis between Tours notables and Louis XI (1461-1483)
Laurent Beauguitte: Models of historical networks: A methodological proposal

15.50-16.45 Final session, including a very short (2 minutes) oral presentation for each poster, discussion of the posters and final general discussion
Posters by:
Thibault Clérice and Anthony Glaise: Network analysis and distant reading: The Cicero’s Network
Damian Koniarek, Renata Madziara and Piotr Szymański: Towards a study of the structure of the business & science social network of the 2nd Polish Republic
Susana Marcos: Familial alliances, social links et geographical network. The example of the province of Lusitania in the Roman Empire (to be confirmed)
Stefania Merlo Perring: The ChartEx Project. Reconstructing spatial relationships from medieval charters: a collaboration between Data Mining and Historical Topography
Sébastien Plutniak: Archaeology as practical mereology: an attempt to analyze a set of ceramic refits using network analysis tools
Grégoire van Havre: Interactions and network analysis of a rock art site in Morro do Chapéu, Bahia, Brazil

16.45 Drinks and informal discussion

CFP CAA UK Oxford

caaukTime for another CAA UK chapter meeting! This year it wil take place in Oxford on 21-22 March. The call for papers is now out, with a 31 January deadline. The online submissions system will be live on the 15th. So time to start writing those abstracts, let’s get some networky papers in there 🙂

More info below or on the CAA UK website.

The next annual meeting of the UK Chapter of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA-UK) will be held in Oxford on 21st and 22nd March 2014. CAA-UK aims to encourage communication between UK-based archaeologists, mathematicians and computer scientists in order to stimulate research and promote best practice in computational and mathematical approaches to the past.

Computational and statistical approaches have become an essential part of the tool-kit, so much so that they have become de rigueur. Whilst it has often been acknowledged that such ‘tools’ are not theory-neutral, both approaches have struggled to throw off their positivist origins. Papers and posters are encouraged which move beyond abstract models or representations and offer substantive contributions to interpretation of the past.

Suggested topics include:

GIS;
Spatial analysis;
Photogrammetry;
Geophysics;
Remote sensing;
3D modelling;
Visualisation;
Network analysis;
Statistical methods;
Semantic web;
‘Social’ media.

Abstracts (350 words maximum) should be submitted via the conference website (www.caa-uk.org) by 31st January 2014. The online submission system will go live on 15th January 2014. Any queries regarding the call for papers should be emailed to admin@caa-uk.org.

CfP CAA2014 S25. “Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation”

CAA headerApologies for cross-posting!

Dear all,

We would like to draw your attention to a session on complex systems simulation in archaeology as part of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference in Paris, France, this April.

If you have created a computational model (Agent-based, mathematical, statistical, network analysis) within the broad topic of complex systems in archaeology, developed a new technique or particularly innovative solution to one of the recurrent issues in modelling, if you think you might have some new insights into the theoretical underpinnings of using simulations and complexity science in archaeology then we would like to hear more about it
We are organising a session on complex systems and computational models in archaeology: “S25. Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation”. We hope to bring together a wide variety of researchers working on a diverse case studies using techniques from all spectrum of complexity science. The goal of this session is to showcase the best applications, discuss the potential and challenges and sketch out the long-term outlook for applications of simulation techniques in archaeology. For further information see the abstract below.

The call for papers closes on the 31st of October 2013. To submit an abstract, please, go to this website, create your user account, click on ‘submissions’ under the heading ‘My Space’ in the left hand side menu and follow the instructions on screen. Please do not forget to choose “S25. Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation” from the dropdown menu “Topic”.

We will also be running a workshop on computational modelling in archaeology, which you are all welcome to join. More information about the workshop will follow in January when the workshop registration will open.

Hope to see you in Paris.
Best wishes,

Ben, Iza, Enrico, Tom

Ben Davies (Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland)
Iza Romanowska (Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton)
Enrico Crema (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)
Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton)

SESSION ABSTRACT

S25 Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation

Chairs : Benjamin Davies 1, Iza Romanowska 2, Enrico Crema 3, Tom Brughmans 2

1 : The University of Auckland – Website
2 : University of Southampton – Website
3 : University College London – Website

Simulation is not new in archaeology. However, the last decade knew an increased focus among archaeologists in the use of simple computational models used to evaluate processes which may have operated in the past. Rather than all-encompassing reconstructions of the prehistoric world, models have been used as ‘virtual labs’ or ‘tools to think with’, permitting archaeologists to explore hypothetical processes that give rise to archaeologically attested structures. Computational modelling techniques such as equation-based, statistical, agent-based and network-based modelling are becoming popular for quickly testing conceptual models, creating new research questions and better understand the workings of complex systems. Complexity science perspectives offer archaeology a wide set of modelling and analytical approaches which recognise the actions of individual agents on different scales who collectively and continually create new cultural properties.

This session aims to bring together complex systems simulation applications in archaeology. We invite innovative and critical applications in analytical and statistical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed under the broad umbrella of complexity science. We hope this session will spark creative and insightful discussion on the potentials and limitations of complexity science, its many simulation techniques and the future of modelling in archaeology.

CAA Paris workshops and session

CAA headerMy favourite conference of the year, the CAA, will take place in Paris on 22-25 April 2014! The call for papers has now opened and the organisers put up an impressive list of sessions. I want to advertise three in particular: the ones I am involved in 😉

We will organise a workshop on network analysis for archaeologists, using a cool dataset on the Eurasian Silk Road. Those who missed The Connected Past network analysis workshop might be interested in joining this one in stead!
W11: Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists
Tom Brughmans, Ursula Brosseder, Bryan Miller

Secondly, we will host a cool new concept for a workshop: one hour, one model! The idea is that people get together, discuss a common generic archaeological research topic and spend an hour or so designing multiple computational models representing this topic.
W12: One hour, one model: Agent-based Modelling on-the-fly
Iza Romanowska, Benjamin Davies, Enrico Crema, Tom Brughmans

Finally, we will also host a session on agents, networks, equations and complexity. Exciting!
S25: Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation
Benjamin Davies, Iza Romanowska, Enrico Crema, Tom Brughmans

Please find the full abstracts on the CAA2014 website. The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 October 2013. Don’t miss out on this cool event!

CAA Poland tomorrow

caapolandDear Polish and less-Polish friends! Tomorrow a new CAA chapter will have it’s inaugural meeting: CAA Poland is born! The line-up sounds great, although a few more vowels would be welcome 🙂 Philip Verhagen will give a keynote presentation and Iza Romanowska might make a guest appearance with a recorded remote presentation. Check out the CAA Poland Facebook group for more information. Let’s go to Poland all!

Program konferencji:

9.30 – 10.00 rejestracja uczestników
10.00 – 10.10 inauguracja konferencji
10.10 – 10.30 CAA International i CAA oddział Polska – wprowadzenie
10.30 – 11.15 wykład gościnny: dr J.W.H.P. (Philip) Verhagen, Faculteit der Letteren (oudheid), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

11.15 – 11.30 przerwa kawowa

PANEL I: Panel ekspercki

11.30 – 11.50 dr A. Prinke (Muzeum Archeologiczne w Poznaniu) OD OŚMIOBITOWCA DO PROJEKTÓW EUROPEJSKICH”: Dorobek Muzeum Archeologicznego w Poznaniu na polu komputeryzacji”
11.50 – 12.10 mgr inż. P. Kaczmarek (Esri Polska /Fundacja Centrum GeoHistorii) Mój poligon doświadczeń z historią i archeologią czyli świat oczami GISowca
12.10 – 12.30 mgr J. D. Mejor (Biblioteka Narodowa) Stan digitalizacji w sektorze Bibliotek
12.30 – 12.45 dyskusja
12.45 – 13.00 przerwa

PANEL II: LiDAR

13.00 – 13.20 mgr M. Legut – Pintal, mgr Ł. Pintal (Politechnika Wrocławska) Perspektywy wykorzystania danych pozyskanych w programie ISOK w prospekcji archeologicznej. Przykład założeń
obronnych dorzecza Nysy Kłodzkiej
13.20 – 13.40 K. Hanus (Uniwersytet Jagielloński/ University of Sydney) Optymalizacja przetwarzania danych LiDAR pozyskanych w trakcie badań nad cywilizacjami lasu tropikalnego
13.40 – 14.00 M. Jakubczak (Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego) LiDAR, GIS, GPS w badaniach nad prahistorycznym górnictwem krzemienia, na przykładzie pola górniczego „Skałecznica Duża”
14.00 – 14.15 dyskusja
14.15 – 15.15 przerwa obiadowa

PANEL III: Nowoczesne metody dokumentacji (I)

15.15 – 15.35 inż. arch. Karolina Majdzik (Politechnika Wrocławska), Anna Kubicka (Politechnika Wrocławska) Cyfrowe metody dokumentacji w pracach archeologiczno – architektonicznych na podstawie badań w Deir el – Bahari i Marina el – Alamein
15.35 – 15.55 mgr P. Rajski (Politechnika Wrocławska) Doświadczenia z inwentaryzacji zamków śląskiego pogranicza. Porównanie metod inwentaryzacji w badaniach architektonicznych i konserwacji
15.55 – 16.15 mgr W. Ejsmond (Uniwersytet Warszawski), mgr J.Chyla (Uniwersytet Jagielloński) Zastosowanie mobilnego systemu GIS w badaniach na zespole stanowisk archeologicznych
w Gebelein
16.15 – 16.30 dyskusja

PANEL IV: Nowoczesne metody dokumentacji (II)

16.30 – 16.50 mgr Ł. Miszk (Uniwersytet Jagielloński) Standardy prowadzenia dokumentacji na stanowisku Nea Pafos
16.50 – 17.10 mgr M. Bryk, mgr J. Chyla (Uniwersytet Jagielloński) Weryfikacja archeologicznych badań powierzchniowych przy pomocy GIS
17.10 – 17.25 dyskusja
17.25 – 17.40 przerwa kawowa

PANEL V: Prospekcja i analiza danych

17.40 – 18.00 mgr B. Pankowski (Uniwersytet Jagielloński), mgr Andrzej Święch Użycie nowych technologii w badaniach podwodnych na Wiśle
18.00 – 18.20 A. Rokoszewski (Uniwersytet Warszawski) Gdzie wzrok sięga – wykorzystanie analizy pola widzenia (viewshed analysis) do badań archeologicznych
18.20 – 18.40 M. Gilewski (Uniwersytet Warszawski) Wykorzystanie Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC) w badaniach nad rolnictwem Majów
18.40 – 19.00 dyskusja

19.00 – 19.30 spotkanie CAA PL

CAA workshop registration open

CAAworkshop_complexity_leafletA while ago I mentioned the workshop in complex systems simulation I will be co-chairing at CAA2013 in Perth. You can now register to attend this workshop via the CAA website. Places are limited so hurry up 🙂

Here is the abstract again, and you can download the programme by clicking on the image.

Dear all,

We would like to draw your attention to a workshop on agent-based modelling in archaeology as part of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference

Ever wondered what all this complex systems talk in archaeology is about, or how to design your own sophisticated simulation model? Then this might be for you:

We will organise a workshop on complex systems and agent-based simulations models in archaeology at the CAA Conference in Perth, Australia, this March. Places are still available but Early Bird Registration to the conference ends on Thursday February 7th, so hurry up to get a discount! The workshop itself is free of charge.

The workshop will take place on Monday March 25th and will consist of a morning and an afternoon session. At the end of the day you will be able to design and program your own simulation model to help you answer your research questions in archaeology or related social sciences – guaranteed …

Registration for the conference at:

http://www.caa2013.org/drupal/registration

Registration to the workshop will be announced on the CAA website soon, but you can already reserve a seat by contacting Carolin at cv275@cam.ac.uk

For further information see the abstract below. A flyer with a detailed programme is attached.

Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Carolin, Iza, Tom and Eugene

Carolin Vegvari (Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Iza Romanowska (Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton)
Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton)
Eugene Ch’ng (IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre, University of Birmingham)

WORKSHOP ABSTRACT

W1: Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology
Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari
Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).

We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

ABM workshop at CAA 2013

CAAworkshop_complexity_leafletI will be involved in an awesome workshop on agent-based modelling in Archaeology at CAA 2013 in Perth. Sound interesting? Hell yeah! Read the outline below and feel free to register you interest. Click here or on the image to the left to check out our awesome flyer (courtesy of Iza Romanowska).

Dear all,

We would like to draw your attention to a workshop on agent-based modelling in archaeology as part of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference

Ever wondered what all this complex systems talk in archaeology is about, or how to design your own sophisticated simulation model? Then this might be for you:

We will organise a workshop on complex systems and agent-based simulations models in archaeology at the CAA Conference in Perth, Australia, this March. Places are still available but Early Bird Registration to the conference ends on Thursday February 7th, so hurry up to get a discount! The workshop itself is free of charge.

The workshop will take place on Monday March 25th and will consist of a morning and an afternoon session. At the end of the day you will be able to design and program your own simulation model to help you answer your research questions in archaeology or related social sciences – guaranteed …

Registration for the conference at:

http://www.caa2013.org/drupal/registration

Registration to the workshop will be announced on the CAA website soon, but you can already reserve a seat by contacting Carolin at cv275@cam.ac.uk

For further information see the abstract below. A flyer with a detailed programme is attached.

Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Carolin, Iza, Tom and Eugene

Carolin Vegvari (Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Iza Romanowska (Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton)
Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton)
Eugene Ch’ng (IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre, University of Birmingham)

WORKSHOP ABSTRACT

W1: Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology
Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari
Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).

We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

Social Media in Live Events publication

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 16.25.46I wrote a few times already about the SMiLE project led by Lisa Harris and Nicole Beale that I am part of. The team presented at the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) conference a few months ago and the paper of that presentation is now included in the online proceedings. You can access the full version on the PLE website or through my bibliography. The paper presents some early findings on our social media strategy applied to the CAA conference 2012 in Southampton.

More cool stuff is to come from the SMiLE team, and we have some great innovative network analysis things in the pipeline, so stay tuned 🙂

Harris, L., Earl, G., Beale, N., Phethean, C., & Brughmans, T. 2012. Building Personal Learning Networks through Event- Based Social Media : a Case Study of the SMiLE Project The Growth of the “ Backchannel ”. In PLE Conference Proceedings, Personal Learning Environment Conference 2012, http://revistas.ua.pt/index.php/ple/article/view/1.

In this paper we report on early findings of our SMiLE project which is evaluating how effective various online social networking channels can be in supporting how people network and learn from a major ‘live’ conference. The event took place at the University of Southampton in March 2012. We consider the dynamics of the relation- ship between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ communities in the development of personal learning networks, for example how social networking impacts upon participants’ interaction and engagement before, during and after the event as the community of practice de- velops. Assessing the impact of social networking activity on ‘real world’ outcomes has historically been a difficult task, but we argue that recent developments in social network visualisation and analysis now enable valuable insights to be generated for the benefit of both event organisers and attendees seeking to build their subject knowledge and extend their networks.
We begin with a brief review of networking theory and the emerging role of the
online backchannel at ‘live’ events, before describing the approach we took to the col- lection and analysis of social media data from the CAA Conference. We then discuss the implications of our findings for people looking to build learning networks through the increasingly blurred boundaries of ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ networks. We conclude by highlighting some lessons learned and possible directions for future research. Our findings also have relevance to the PLE conference itself – which this year has the added dynamic of two face to face locations for the conference operating at the same time to pose new multi-channel communication and learning challenges for partici- pants.

Personal Histories of CAA film

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 15.10.30A while ago I wrote about the Personal Histories of CAA session I organised with Gareth Beale at the CAA conference in March 2012. We are delighted to announce that the Personal Histories of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference (CAA) film has now been edited and is available on the CAA website and Personal Histories project’s website.

The 2012 edition at Southampton was the 40th anniversary of the CAA conference. We celebrated this event with the “Personal Histories of CAA” session held at the CAA conference venue on Wednesday 28 March, from 2pm to 4pm. At this celebratory session the founders, former chairs and key members of CAA throughout the last 4 decades shared their personal experiences with us. We were honoured that for this event we were able to welcome to Southampton Sue Laflin, Phil Barker, Clive Orton, John Wilcock, Nick Ryan, Paul Reilly and Hans Kamermans, as well as listen to an interview with Irwin Scollar. The session was moderated by the current chair of CAA, Gary Lock. The contributors discussed the advances in the field of archaeological computing fostered by the CAA as well as many personal social experiences.

We hope you enjoy this film and the many personal anecdotes it contains. We hope the next 40 years will be equally exciting.

Tom Brughmans, Gareth Beale, Pamela Jane Smith

Archaeological Computing Research Group
University of Southampton

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
University of Cambridge

Complexity session and workshop at CAA2013

The CAA (computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology) conference submission system has just opened and the deadline to submit papers is 10 October. Download the CFP and list of sessions here. I am involved in one session and one workshop this year, both with Iza Romanowska, Carolin Vegvari and Eugene Ch’ng. Our papers session is entitled “S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology” and our hands-on workshop “W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology”. Feel free to submit an abstract to the session. We hope we will spark some interest in complexity and good discussion with both the session and workshop. We invite innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach. So do not hesitate to submit an abstract and join discussions in Perth!

Here you can read the abstract of the paper session and of the workshop (below):

S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology. Chairs: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans. Discussants: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari Format: Paper presentation (LP)

A complex system is “a system in which large networks of components with no central control and simple rules of operation give rise to complex collective behaviour, sophisticated information processing, and adaptation via learning or evolution.” Mitchell 2009: 14. Complexity has been proclaimed as a new paradigm shift in science almost half a century ago. It developed as a response to the reductionist approach of René Descartes and the idea of a ‘clockwork universe’ that dominated past thinking for many centuries. Complexity brings a fresh alternative to this mechanistic approach. Complex Systems exist in every hierarchy of our world, from the molecular, to individual organisms, and from community to the global environment. This is why researchers in many disciplines, including archaeology, found particularly appealing the idea that global patterns can emerge in the absence of central control through interaction between local elements governed by simple rules (Kohler 2012). As a result, the unifying phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ (Aristotle, Metaphysica 10f-1045a) became the common ground for scholars in many disciplines.
Due to the complex nature of interactions, the study of complex systems requires computational tools such as equation-based modelling, agent-based modelling (ABM) and complex network analysis. In recent years the number of archaeological applications of complex systems simulation has increased significantly, not in the least due to a wider availability of computing power and user-friendly software alternatives. The real strength of these tools lies in their ability to explore hypothetical processes that give rise to archaeologically attested structures. They require archaeological assumptions to be made explicit and very often force researchers to present them in quantifiable form. For example, vague concepts such as ‘social coherence’, ‘connectivity’ or even seemingly explicit ‘dispersal rates’, often have to be given numeric values if they are to be integrated into computational models. Computational tools also allow for testing alternative hypotheses by creating ‘virtual labs’ in which archaeologists can test and eliminate models which, although superficially logical, are not plausible.
The main contribution that complexity science perspectives have to offer archaeology is the wide set of modelling and analytical approaches which recognise the actions of individual agents who collectively and continually create new cultural properties. Indeed, it has been argued that a complexity science perspective incorporates the advantages of culture historical, processual and post-processual paradigms in archaeology (Bentley and Maschner 2003; Bintliff 2008). Quantifiable complex systems simulations and mathematical modelling can provide a way to bridge the gap between the reductionist approach and the constructionist study of the related whole (Bentley and Maschner 2003).
This session aims to reflect upon and build on the recent surge of complex systems simulation applications in archaeology. Innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach are welcomed. We hope this session will spark creative and insightful discussion on the potential and limitations of complexity science, possible applications, tools as well as its theoretical implications.

W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology. Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari. Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).
We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

CFP CAA 2013 Perth and our Complexity sessions

The CAA (computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology) is one of those conferences I actually look forward to each year. It has a big community of genuinely great people, it’s always a good experience. Next year it will be held in Perth, Australia. The call for papers is just out, and it looks like there will be quite a few interesting sessions on quite diverse topics. Download the CFP and list of sessions here.

I am involved in one session and one workshop this year, both with Iza Romanowska, Carolin Vegvari and Eugene Ch’ng. Our papers session is entitled “S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology” and our hands-on workshop “W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology”. Feel free to submit an abstract to the session. We hope we will spark some interest in complexity and good discussion with both the session and workshop.

Here are the abstracts:

S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology. Chairs: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans. Discussants: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari Format: Paper presentation (LP)

A complex system is “a system in which large networks of components with no central control and simple rules of operation give rise to complex collective behaviour, sophisticated information processing, and adaptation via learning or evolution.” Mitchell 2009: 14. Complexity has been proclaimed as a new paradigm shift in science almost half a century ago. It developed as a response to the reductionist approach of René Descartes and the idea of a ‘clockwork universe’ that dominated past thinking for many centuries. Complexity brings a fresh alternative to this mechanistic approach. Complex Systems exist in every hierarchy of our world, from the molecular, to individual organisms, and from community to the global environment. This is why researchers in many disciplines, including archaeology, found particularly appealing the idea that global patterns can emerge in the absence of central control through interaction between local elements governed by simple rules (Kohler 2012). As a result, the unifying phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ (Aristotle, Metaphysica 10f-1045a) became the common ground for scholars in many disciplines.
Due to the complex nature of interactions, the study of complex systems requires computational tools such as equation-based modelling, agent-based modelling (ABM) and complex network analysis. In recent years the number of archaeological applications of complex systems simulation has increased significantly, not in the least due to a wider availability of computing power and user-friendly software alternatives. The real strength of these tools lies in their ability to explore hypothetical processes that give rise to archaeologically attested structures. They require archaeological assumptions to be made explicit and very often force researchers to present them in quantifiable form. For example, vague concepts such as ‘social coherence’, ‘connectivity’ or even seemingly explicit ‘dispersal rates’, often have to be given numeric values if they are to be integrated into computational models. Computational tools also allow for testing alternative hypotheses by creating ‘virtual labs’ in which archaeologists can test and eliminate models which, although superficially logical, are not plausible.
The main contribution that complexity science perspectives have to offer archaeology is the wide set of modelling and analytical approaches which recognise the actions of individual agents who collectively and continually create new cultural properties. Indeed, it has been argued that a complexity science perspective incorporates the advantages of culture historical, processual and post-processual paradigms in archaeology (Bentley and Maschner 2003; Bintliff 2008). Quantifiable complex systems simulations and mathematical modelling can provide a way to bridge the gap between the reductionist approach and the constructionist study of the related whole (Bentley and Maschner 2003).
This session aims to reflect upon and build on the recent surge of complex systems simulation applications in archaeology. Innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach are welcomed. We hope this session will spark creative and insightful discussion on the potential and limitations of complexity science, possible applications, tools as well as its theoretical implications.

W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology. Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari. Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).
We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

SMiLE: excellence with impact

Our SMiLE (Social Media for Live Events) project is on an advertising high! On 25 July a SMiLE article appeared on the Research Councils UK website, under the Digital Economy theme. In fact, SMiLE emerged from the Southampton Digital Economy University Strategic Research Group, a group co-directed by Dr. Lisa Harris, coordinator of the SMiLE project. This post also reveals a teaser image of my network analysis of the SMiLE data, more about that later 🙂

SMiLE: But who is going to read 12,000 tweets?!

A second blogpost about the SMiLE project I am involved in appeared recently on the London School of Economics website. I wrote about the project’s aims before as Nicole Beale and Lisa Harris explained it on the LSE website earlier. This second blog post introduces a first glimpse at the results including a short discussion of Twitter network visualization and analysis. Exciting!

In fact, this second blog post reveals some of the really cool work the project members have been up to. MSc students here in Southampton have been busy using the collected social media data in creative ways for their projects. The project is also working with the Oxford e-research centre on a guide for best practice for using social media at conferences. But that’s not all! We are also working on depositing the entire social media archive with the Archaeology Data Service in York, and publishing some of the results in Internet Archaeology.

The rest of the blog post goes on to discuss some of the issues surrounding all this. How does one go about depositing an electronic social media archive? Lisa and Nicole looked into some of the comments of the conference delegates, provided in feedback forms, to get a more qualified picture of the issue and how to proceed. The blog also discusses the issue of developing an interface through which this dataset can be explored. Mark Borkum and I are looking at using network analysis tools for this. More on the network side of things will be revealed in later posts.

Have a look at the original article, definitely worth a read!

Social Media at CAA2012 on London School of Economics blog

The London School of Economics blog today features a post titled ‘If you don’t have social media, you are no one: How social media enriches conferences for some but risks isolating others’. It introduces some preliminary findings of the ‘Social Media in Supporting Live Events’ (SMiLE) project by Southampton’s Digital Humanities members Nicole Beale, Lisa Harris and their team… of which I am lucky to be part 🙂 They extracted data from over 13,000 tweets, 430 photos and a number of videos, all derived from the social media strategy the project set up for the Computer Applications and Quantitative techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference held at the University of Southampton in March. Because the social media strategy was developed in detail before the event the SMiLE team managed to convince a large portion of conference delegates to use social media and collected way more data than they expected.

The blog post reveals some very preliminary results, but this rich dataset promises to provide many more fascinating insights in the use and potential of social media at a Humanities conference. Keep an eye out for SMiLE on the LSE and SotonDH blogs! And of course this one as well 🙂

Personal Histories of CAA

This year marks the 40th anniversary of CAA. We will celebrate this event with the ‘Personal Histories of CAA’ session to be held at the CAA conference venue on Wednesday 28 March, from 2pm to 4pm. The founders, former chairs and key members of CAA throughout the last 40 decades will share their personal experiences with us. We are honoured that for this event we are able to welcome to Southampton Sue Laflin, Phil Barker, Clive Orton, John Wilcock, Nick Ryan, Paul Reilly and Hans Kamermans, as well as listen to an interview with Irwin Scollar. The session will be moderated by the current chair of CAA, Gary Lock.

Find out more about this great event on the CAA2012 website. And do also visit the Personal Histories project website.

Over the last forty years CAA has grown from an annual event at the University of Birmingham to a national and now worldwide conference attracting over 300 participants every year. It also lived through major changes in the role computing played in academia and people’s personal lives, through the availability of computers at academic institutions, the introduction of GIS, the affordability of computers for private use, the rise of user friendly operating systems, and last but not least the emergence and extreme impact of the world wide web. These events have strongly influenced the way archaeologists have used computing and quantitative techniques, and no organisation is a better reflection of this than CAA. The ‘Personal histories of CAA’ session aims to make the current generation of archaeologists aware of such dramatic shifts, and to provide personal perspectives for charting fascinating future research avenues.

CAA 2012 bursaries and first plenary speaker!

Just a quick note to say that applications for bursaries to attend CAA2012 will close at 12:01am on 25th January. This is to allow us to process applications in time for people to purchase registrations at the reduced rate.

In other news, the first plenary speaker for CAA2012 is announced: Dr Jeremy Huggett (University of Glasgow) with a talk entitled “Disciplinary issues: the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology”

CAA has been meeting annually for almost forty years, so one might expect that we would have a reasonable idea of the nature and role of archaeological computing. However, some see it as an emerging field (e.g. Bimber & Chang 2011) while others suggest the need for a new archaeological speciality: Archaeological Information Science (e.g. Llobera 2011). Even the Wikipedia page on computational archaeology describes archaeoinformatics as an emerging discipline. Is this a sign of a lack of confidence in forty years-worth of enterprise and development or is it instead an indication of growing self-assurance in the subject? In recent years other fields, including GIScience and Information Systems, have sought to evaluate their intellectual core and identity; perhaps it is time that archaeological computing does likewise.

Registration open for CAA2012

You can now register for the Computer Applications and Quantitative methods in Archaeology conference 2012, in Southampton. So register, register, register! And don’t forget to include your social media profiles so we can make this a real CAA 2.0!

The CAA2012 registration system is now open:

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/caa2012/registration/index.html

The early bird registration rates will end on 1 February. We very much look forward to seeing you in Southampton in March.

As part of the registration process we would very much like you to provide us with your social media profiles e.g. twitter, linkedin, academia etc. If you agree we will place these on the CAA2012 website in order to create an online community in advance of the conference and to help interactions during and after it. Please also follow @caasoton if you are a twitter user for regular updates.

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